16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
My Thoughts on this Fourth of July
I do love rules. They seem so organized, so helpful, so easy a way to check whether you’re really OK. Unfortunately they are easy to ignore too….and then come the “shoulds” and the guilt. Guilt is the bad guy’s favorite tool to deform people. One thing I’m absolutely sure of is that God’s freedom NEVER uses guilt as a way to transform people.
I remember things I wish I hadn’t done. Those memories leave me faced with these two choices:
a) I can listen to the bad guy tell me what a useless disappointment I am that can’t get the simplest thing right…OR
b) I can thank God for caring enough to remind me that after all this time I really do still need him and he’s not forgotten it. This is the reality of my freedom.
• Romans 8: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
•2 Peter 1:12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have
• Philippians 1:6 He who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it
This is the reality God’s freedom for all His people.